Bishop Zurek Clamps Down On Fr. Frank Pavone
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 12:07:50 PM EST
It has already been widely reported, that Father Frank Pavone, head of the militant anti-abortion group Priests For Life, has been suspended from active ministry outside of his home diocese of Amarillo, Texas.  His Bishop Patrick J. Zurek said he acted in the face of "persistent questions and concerns" about the group's finances.
The concerns about PFL seems to have been well-founded. Religion News Service  reports that the organization failed to disclose financial details and reported a $1.4 million deficit in 2010 (PFL has not filed federal tax forms since 2008).

In a letter explaining the suspension, Bishop Zurek said:

The PFL has become a business that is quite lucrative which provides Father Pavone with financial independence from all legitimate ecclesiastical oversight.  There have been persistent question (sic) and concerns by clergy and laity regarding the transactions of millions of dollars of donations to the PFL from whom the donors have a rightful expectation that the monies are being used prudently. These financial questions and concerns have persisted with no clear and adequate answers since the time when Father Pavone was under two previous bishop ordinaries. Since he has consistently refused to subject the PFL to a transparent and complete auditing of all expenditures, I have reasons to be alarmed at the potential financial scandal that might arise if it were the result of my failure to correct Father Pavone's incorrigible defiance to my legitimate authority as his Bishop.

But the bishop also is concerned with Pavone's ego, stating, "Father Pavone has gradually lost his need to show appropriate obedience to his Bishop."  He further observed, "It seems that his fame has caused him to see priestly obedience as an inconvenience to his unique status and an obstacle to the possible international scope of his ministry."

 The Amarillo Globe-News reported that Pavone was a no-show at an invited October 6 meeting with the bishop.

Pavone stated that he skipped the meeting on the advise of his canonical attorney.

In the meantime a picture of an organization with well-paid but inept executives is emerging.

PFL and its associated groups bring in a lot of money.  Tax returns show that between 2004 and 2008 alone PFL raised 45.5 million dollars.  Mother Jones magazine reports that in 2008 the group's executive director made $95,394, the vice chairman of the board made $162,253.  MoJo further reported, "The group also spent $736,146 on travel-some of which may have funded Pavone's efforts to promote the group."

The Amarillo Globe-News further reported that the State of Pennsylvania fined PFL a total of $8,000 both last year and in 2006 for its failure to renew its 2005 registration as a charity.  It also failed to disclose to the state it had hired a marketing company to conduct fundraising campaigns there in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

As the Globe-News pointed out, the failure to report the fundraiser is a bad sign for any not-for-profit:

"Another big no-no," said Ron Barrett, vice president for nonprofits of National Corporate Research, a business that assists charities in keeping registrations current.  "In 23 states, if you're soliciting and you use a paid fundraiser, you have to send copies of the contracts and alert the states that you are using a paid fundraiser."

Pennsylvania hit Priests for Life with another fine, this one for $6,000, last year for noncompliance.  The nonprofit's failure to disclose the marketing contract also resulted in a subsequent Pennsylvania investigation that led to penalties for the contractor last year, Pennsylvania State Department spokesman Ron Ruman said.

Meanwhile, Priests for Life may be feeling the pressure of the scrutiny directed at Pavone.  The National Catholic Reporter recently reported that PFL "...sent a new desperate plea for money in a letter to donors dated Nov. 4, 2011."   The letter goes on to say that "many supporters have withdrawn their support of PFL because of the controversy surrounding it."

Is he in over his head?

by Frank Cocozzelli on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 12:14:03 PM EST

If you view the comments accompanying the various stories in the Amarillo Globe-News, it would appear that Pavone has a lot of groupies who are in his corner and are mad at Zurek for trying to rein Pavone in. It's fairly obvious to me that Pavone has developed the same ego problems visible with Thomas Euteneuer and John Corapi. That being said, I wonder how much of this is Zurek wanting his cut. There's no question that PFL has been a money maker for Pavone, and I wonder if other dioceses have been contributing money to PFL?

by khughes1963 on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 07:12:35 PM EST

Just since October 1 of this year, he (and other PFL officials) have sent out at least twelve emails protesting his innocence (without giving details), all of them urging recipients to donate generously, and not quite accusing Zurek of diabolical intent:

I have no idea what is motivating these individuals to repeat the half-truths coming out of Amarillo.  

Priests for Life needs a massive infusion of contributions and we need it now! ... The enemies of life are working furiously to destroy Priests for Life.

etc, etc, etc. (Both quotes above taken from 11/8 appeal signed by Jerry Horn, Senior Vice President, Priests for Life.)

Pavone's most recent personal messages offer to include whatever prayer any respondent wishes in a "special Thanksgiving Mass" (when did a US holiday enter the Catholic calendar?) - interspersed with calls for money. At least so far he hasn't attempted to sell indulgences.

by Pierce R Butler on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 06:10:33 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (56 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (12 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (11 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (8 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (18 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (8 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (9 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (9 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (9 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (12 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (7 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (8 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (22 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (28 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (11 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (12 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (45 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (10 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (7 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (10 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (6 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (8 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (14 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (11 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (9 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (7 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (6 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (12 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.